Late September Walk

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

The day is partly overcast shadow
and light chase each other up and down the hillside.
The landscape is greening now,
where I come from, up north, the land is paling,
hardening into a long winter.
Tiny Lilac flowers grow under olive trees
don’t know their name
but that doesn’t make them less beautiful.
Only the almond tree is leafless
and unpicked fruits hang like Christmas baubles
that have lost their shine.
Soon new shuts will come
and it will blossom into the most envied tree in the valley.
Walk on the old road
it is cartwheel wide
too narrow for cars
and has fallen into disuse,
but for generations to come
will be a healed wound across the landscape.
In front of me a bird, blue and white,
has fallen out of the sky,
pick it up its beak is grey
blink its eyes and dies,
put it on a stone that is the extracted molar of a Neanderthal man.
Its soul is still in the palm of my hand
and I gently blow to set it free
and sense its flight as a gentle breeze
that makes leafs on a carob tree tremble.